CAD Manager's Newsletter (#374)

8 Nov, 2016 By: Robert Green

When Your Problem User Is Management

Change your CAD management priorities to accommodate financial goals — and use hard facts to make your case.

Editor's note: Until Robert Green returns, we'll be revisiting a few classic CAD Manager columns and their timeless advice. This column was originally published June 13, 2012.

In another installment of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I shared a CAD Manager's Toolbox tip about dealing with problem users that also happen to be your boss. I've had a lot of reader responses on this issue — most agreeing with my assessment, and quite a few asking more questions about their specific problems.

In this installment, I thought it would be worthwhile to expand the discussion and share some ideas for dealing with management personnel who make your job tougher than it should be. So if you've ever had your standards undermined or your authority undercut by your management team, these strategies are for you. Here goes.

It's All About Perspective

Before we talk about anything else, we need to acknowledge that senior management staffs simply don't have the same priorities that we technologists do. We tend to think about CAD tools, IT tools, and how to get users up to speed on these tools so that work can get done. This is in stark contrast to senior management staffs, which tend to focus on financials and sales.

In fact, I'll go ahead and state that management staffs are focused almost exclusively on the following goals:

  • Completing projects as soon as possible;
  • Minimizing project costs;
  • Making customers or clients happy; and
  • Ensuring that all projects are profitable.

Once we understand that this is senior management's perspective, we can deduce that the following rules are true:

  1. Management views anything that supports these goals as good.
  2. Management views anything that impedes these goals as bad.

What Does It Mean?

Given management's emphasis, we can see that the CAD manager has to think about how CAD tools and IT technology can help get projects done faster and more profitably, and articulate that to senior management. This is essentially using the first rule above to frame the CAD management debate. Read more »

:: Resources

Grabowski Updates CAD Management Guide
Ralph Grabowski, author of upFront.eZine and the WorldCAD Access blog, has published Best CAD Practices ($27). This is an update of his CAD Manager's Guidebook published in 2001, and includes four new chapters. The 270-page PDF book addresses such topics as Role of the CAD Manager, Naming Drawings and Symbols, Running CAD on Mobile Devices, and Managing the Dual-CAD Office.

:: What's New at

Microsoft Expands Touchscreen Horizons with Surface Studio
For professionals who like to get hands-on with their designs, this 28" all-in-one computer provides lots of space for sketching, modeling, and more. Read more »

Event Report: Catching Up with Solid Edge
At Solid Edge University 2016, Siemens PLM talks about what's happening, and what's ahead, for the 2D/3D CAD software and its users. Read more »

With Launch of ARES Kudo, Graebert Completes Its 'CAD Trinity'
New browser-based application joins ARES Commander and ARES Touch to provide interconnected solution for DWG editing across desktop, mobile, and cloud platforms. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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